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29 June 2016

Fail better

Is this your career?
Get a real job!
Writing postcards doesn't count!

Turn up the television.
Anyone can do it.

I don’t get it.
The window has shut.
Don't you even care?
Success depends upon money!
Asides must be dumped.

Your house is burning.
We're out of vodka.
Your document is blank.
It’s a good start.

Entries from a competition to spoil a writer's mood in 4 words. Submitted by Howie Good.

17 June 2016

The Ladies’ Love Oracle

It will be too glorious.
Go to your ruin, if you will.
It is needful that he be very good; yes, in spite of delays.
He will love you for a month.
Yes, at a country ball.

Wait, you will congratulate yourself,
Do not be uneasy.
You would be wrong by appearing frank and open.
Your least virtue.

No, my fine lady; be upon your guard.
By a more careful toilet, without doubt.
He’ll be handsome, like your present one.
The future will teach you it.

You ought not to hope. Why not, if you love him?
Yes, from midday to midnight.
Could you do without it?
Many things are opposed to it.

By a skillfully-managed intrigue
Don’t wait for it, you’ll only lose time.
Yes, a hussar. Yes, all except one.
Thy wit equals thy beauty.

Continue to ignore him.
You must renounce the world.
Handsome body, but deformed mind.
He smokes his segar and forgets you.

Count no more upon it.
It is useless.

Answers to oracle questions from Madam Le Marchand’s Fortune Teller and Dreamer’s Dictionary, published in 1863. Submitted by Lori Hahnel.

15 June 2016

Sweet poison

When I first started selling wild honey
the price was extremely high. Then someone
in Korea ate too much and died.

This year’s harvest: quarter of a teaspoon.
You have a few minutes before
you are overcome with an urgent need
to defecate, urinate and vomit.

After the purge, you alternate between
light and dark. You can see and then
you can’t see. A sound, jam jam jam pulses,
like the drone of a bee hive, in your head.
Then you lose all motor function.
The paralysis lasts for a day or so.

Normally we have to see a doctor
to get bad things taken out of our bodies,
but the honey does this for us.

From the caption to a National Geographic Instagram photo of wild honey. Submitted by Liam Gresby.

13 June 2016

Craig's List, Hope's Personals

I am real.
I hope you are too.

It rained in the morning.
Hope. Your. Our. There.
Friends, I hope.

I hope you find happiness
losing hope in women.

I hope I can find
someone tonight.

Craigslist Houston listings for 'Hope' including full words only, extracted 22 May 2016. Submitted by Jody T. Morse.

10 June 2016

a southbound Amtrak

a southbound Amtrak
passenger and mail train gone
when the windows clear

From an NPR news story some time in the early 1990s. One evening I turned on my car radio and the words in the poem were the first thing I heard. Submitted by John Maruskin.

08 June 2016

One of my hermits is moulting

What should I do?
Nothing. Moulters already
have to suffer from stress.
Disturbing them will make it worse.
Place a cave over them
to provide darkness.
Most will harden.

How do I distinguish a dead hermit?
Look for a claw in the shell.
The eyes should be hollow
and translucent.
The eyes of dead hermits
are dark in colour, just like
when they were alive.

How long should I wait?
You are better digging
up a dead hermit
three months later
than stressing one to death
that was alive and could
have surfaced on its own.

Why is my hermit being lethargic?
This is normal behaviour.
Offer protein and calcium.
There is not much else you can do.
Sometimes they experience
difficulty shedding
so they give up and drop.

Advice from Hermit Crab Paradise website, extracted 29 April 2016. Submitted by Linda Goulden.

06 June 2016

A visit

Every place on earth should be like this; unexpected.
On a good day, you can see forever.

Restful sleep for a windy place.
Tranquility is a marvelous experience
sound of meadowlarks in the morning, music
for the body.
Breath and love are everything.

This is sort of my home town.
Where my father went to school,
took piano lessons.

I had stitches on my hand in this place –

Nice to be back home,
to see the old schoolroom and
place where I was born

Different than I remember it as

Hope we weren’t too much trouble.
Thanks for the beer.

(You will remember me by the broken chair)

Entries in the visitors' guest book at the Convent Inn in Val Marie, Saskatchewan, Canada, noted during a visit in the autumn of 2006. Submitted by Shannon Bruyneel.

03 June 2016

Mystery in Sochi

They are about two inches wide,
squarish, and five inches tall.
They hail from the Toggenburg
Valley of northeast Switzerland,
and they are held in the highest
regard by experts around the world.
They are glass bottles used to hold
athletes’ urine samples.

From Mystery in Sochi Doping Case Lies With Tamper-Proof Bottle,Rebecca R. Ruiz, New York Times, 13 May 2016. Submitted by Evie Groch.

01 June 2016

Spring is here

I've just been amazed at how rapidly
the last few weeks have flown by - like
tiny little birds not like
Canadian geese
who are like the B52s
of the Avian world.
I have more bird poop
on my car recently.
Spring is here.

An email from my boyfriend. Submitted by Debby Thompson.